10 Greek Street

I’d previously been to 10 Greek Street for lunch and absolutely loved it, but the no dinner reservations policy scares me. It brings to mind a 2 hour queue outside of Honest Burger. I wish Soho would just let you reserve a table. I almost get it for a burger place, but not a proper restaurant. It’s not a fucking soup kitchen. I am paying for my meal. I don’t want to also have to queue in the cold for it. This Thursday night though I decided to chance it and I popped my head in at 6.45 and found that they had three spare tables. It felt like I’d beaten the system.

Despite the bare white walls, it has a warm and cosy feel inside. You’re rubbing elbows with your neighbour, so this might not be for some people, but it’s all part of the Soho vibe. The menu is scribbled on blackboards, which is usually a good sign that it constantly changes. The emphasis is placed on the ingredients,and tonight game was taking centre stage on several of the dishes. There’s no mention of any fancy (and often frustratingly pointless) cooking techniques- no emulsified beetroot puree, no celeriac crumb, no asparagus foam, no dehydrated turnip (you get my point). Instead just like the decor the food here is kept simple, and offers big comfortable flavours.

Once seated we started on the wine and bread. Both are excellent here. The wine list offers a lot of bottles between the £20-£30 mark, and you can try most of these by the glass for around £6. A glass of house is as little as £2.75! In Soho!

I  started with the partridge breast, baby carrots, kale and chestnuts (£9). This was exactly what it said on the tin. Everything worked together and everything was perfectly cooked. Great way to start things off.

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My partner had the potted Dorset crab, radish and apple salad and sourdough bread. I’m not a huge fan of the roe and there was a lot of it here, but she loved it and gobbled the lot. The apple gave the dish the needed bit of sweetness and brought it all together. It was another dish priding the ingredients, and another big hit.

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For main I had the goose with pickled red cabbage, swede gratin and cranberry. It was Christmas come early. They’d even left the unwrapping of the present to me, as I found a huge bit of greaseproof paper hiding in the gratin. This rather larger blip to one side, the dish was pretty much spot on. The cranberries were slightly bitter and could have done with a little reduction, but apart from this it hit the mark.

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My partner had the wild mushroom, leek and truffle risotto (£14). The hit of truffle was intense and there was a few shavings of truffle on top, and the mushrooms gave it a nutty and almost meaty flavour. We mopped all of the juices up with the last of the bread slices. Delicious. Even the side of sprouting broccoli (£5) was excellent.

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To finish things off we shared an apple and pear crumble with crème Anglaise (£6). It was perfect comfort food. Huge chunks of the fruit were hiding beneath the crispy crumble, and there was plenty of custard to drown it all in.

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The bill came to £81 (service wasn’t included), for a three course meal and three glasses of wine. At just over £40 a head this really is a good value meal. The food here makes you feel happy. It’s not overly fancy, just solid cooking and with the menu constantly changing to keep up with the seasonal ingredients, it is always fresh and exciting. It has firmly rooted itself in one of my favourite London restaurants, one I can’t wait to come back to.

Food: 9/10

Service: 7.5/10

Atmosphere: 8.5/10

Value: 8/10

Overall: 8.5/10

10 Greek Street, London W1D 4DH

10 Greek Street on Urbanspoon

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Bi Bim Bap

Bibimbap is the ultimate comfort food. Everything good is crammed into one bowl, making it the Korean equivalent of stuffing a Yorkshire pudding with all the Sunday lunch leftovers. It really is that good. Bi Bim Bap (inventive name I know) on Greek Street serves this dish for only £6.95 (an extra £1 for the egg), so if you’re in Soho looking for a quick food fix, then go here.

Inside is decorated like a teenage Korean girl’s bedroom with a collection of odd posters and pictures covering a lime green wall.  There’s a queue every lunch and dinner but there are enough seats to ensure you won’t be waiting much longer than 10 minutes. The staff do their best to get you seated as quickly as they can, but they do tend to forget about you a little once you are seated. But with food costing less than a tenner, who really cares.

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The starters are more of an after thought, and the tempura prawns were nothing special. Better was the chilli squid salt and pepper squid. The batter was light and crisp, the squid was tender. They could have been braver with the chilli though.

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Then came the sizzling stone dish filled with rice, vegetables and spicy pork. My partner chose the beef equivalent. Definitely go for the raw egg yolk because it cooks with the heat of the dish and caking all the rice together. Some of the rice crisps up from the heat adding another texture. With miso and chilli sauce to give an extra hit of flavour, this is a really filling and tasty dish.

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You’re in and out quickly making it ideal for a quick bite, and with winter here it’s perfect when you just need to be filled and warmed up. And as you can easily eat for less than £10 a head, there’s no excuses not to give this a try.

Food: 7.5/10

Service: 5.5/10

Atmosphere: 6/10

Value: 9/10

Overall: 7.5/10

Bibimbap Soho on Urbanspoon

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